The Air Force has allowed nine airmen to opt out of DOD’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for religious reasons, it announced Tuesday, as Air Force Times reported.
“The Department of the Air Force determined the service members’ accommodations could be supported with no impact to mission readiness,” Air Force spokesperson Ann Stefanek told the outlet.
Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said Tuesday that she expects it will be “a fairly small number of people” within the Army who will be separated for vaccine refusal.
“I think as people are faced with the prospect of actually being asked to leave the Army, some of them are going to take the vaccine who might not have otherwise,” she said at a Center for a New American Security event, according to Stars and Stripes.
Wormuth has ordered commanders to begin separating from service those soldiers who refuse the shots and do not have pending or approved exemptions.
Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Brian Bolin Jr.